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YOP2019 #4

Hello my dears, and welcome back me. My, what a month February has been! I don’t really want to go into detail, let’s just say that on top of the health problems I told you about last time, I developed shingles, and to add insult to injury (or was it the other way round?), it only showed in my face. I still went to work inspite until my left eye started swelling and closing, and my coworker sent me home with strict orders to stay away until I had recovered. So here I am, home on sick leave, and still no progress to speak of. And guess what? I’m done with the contemplating and worrying and caring, it won’t make any of this go away. I’ll just take each day as it comes, try to regroup and look for a new direction. Something or other will turn up with time, I’m sure. For now, I’ll just LIVE. Oh, and I’ve registered with a driving school, so bike driving license, here I come.

Due to numerous things (like forgetting that February actually is a few days shorter than all the other months) I’m a bit late with my calendar pages this month. I’ve chosen snowdrops for March – nothing else speaks „spring“ to me like snowdrops do. I’m so glad that at least some of them survived the landscaping we did last year! By the way, I don’t know if I mentioned this before – if you like my calendar pages and would like to keep them or collect them, feel free to download them. (Do not reblog or publish anywhere without asking first, though, please.) I’ll add an extra album to the Eye Candy page soon.

On to the crafty stuff, shall we? As you can see, my Chocolate Box blanket is growing. All these squares were made from the same yarn, and I’m seriously tempted to go to my LYS and buy whatever balls they have left – if they have any of this left. The way the colours play together is just so lovely, and to be honest, I can’t picture any of my other sock yarns working so beautifully with this pattern. Then again, even if I did manage to buy a few more balls of this yarn, it would absolutely defeat the purpose of the blanket because a, I wanted to use up as much of my sock yarn remnants as possible, and b, I wanted this blanket to be made lots of different yarns, to give it a million different colours and the look and feel of all the many different variagated yarns I’ve used so far. I’ve used many of the blues and greys and dark colours on the Waver blanket, and am going to keep it blue-ish if possible (unless I get sea-sick, that is), but I really need something else to use up the multi-coloured yarns and all the pinks and pastels and yellows that don’t stand out against the white rows in the Waver blanket. So to cut a long story short – going to keep working on the Chocolate Box blanket and introduce some of my other yarns to it soon.

The Surf & Turf stole is finished. Well, at least the knitting part is done, I have yet to block it. No matter how much I love to knit lace, the blocking part is my least favourite. I never seem to get the edges straight, it always ends up wonky and wobbly. Plus even though I own a set of those styrofoam puzzle mats that were all the rage a few years ago, they are just never big enough for my lace shawls, and I end up dragging the shawls through the house, in search of something to block them on, and a place where they can dry peacefully. For now and the Surf & Turf stole, I’m waiting for spring to bring warm, sunny, and most of all dry days so I can take it outside and block it right there.

Next, I started a new pair of socks in a rather plain (and slightly dull) light blue. Since the yarn doesn’t have much to offer in the „catches your eye“ department, I decided to spice up the pattern a bit. No plain vanillas this time, but a very simple ribbing pattern – rd 1 + 2: k2, p2, rd 3 + 4: knit. I haven’t taken a photo of it yet, actually I’m still on the foot part of sock no. 1. My knitting got interrupted by the kitchen remodel – we inherited a certain sum of money and decided to finally get the kitchen done. Actually, it was on the list for this year anyway, but thanks to the extra Euros, we were able to buy an Ikea kitchen instead of building all the furniture from scratch. We put up new wallpaper, laid new laminate flooring, bought the furniture, brought it home and assembled it (as for that, Steve had to do most of it alone because the cold he had so generously passed on to me finally knocked me off my feet on Assembly Day), all within a mere week. No, I’m not kidding you – Tuesday was wallpaper day, Thursday we finished the wallpaper and started laying the floor, Friday we went to Ikea to get our furniture, and the rest of the weekend was spent finishing the floor and putting up the furniture. We had our first meal in our new kitchen on Saturday evening. We’ve since sorted through all our stuff, thrown out some older pots and pans and some china and glasses and stuff, given all the stuff we’re going to keep a good swim in the dishwasher, and sorted everything into the various cabinets. I just love how well thought-out everything is, and how organized we can be now, and how lovely it looks. Cooking and baking is so much more fun when everything you need is within reach, and there’s a place for everything. I promise to show you the new kitchen in all it’s glory soon.

Well, that leaves me with this:

This was supposed to become Drops 8-2 jumper, and I wanted it to be extra huge. Unfortunately, it will fit but not be huge, and I found out the hard way (by looking in the mirrow) that those 80s style jumpers with a high cuff and extra wide sleeves don’t look flattering on me. So I’ve since frogged the dear thing and re-started, same pattern, same yarn, smaller cuff, and I’m going to give it regular sleeves. Knitting it is fun, the pattern is easy enough, and for some reason, stranded knitting is just so much faster. I’m quite content with how it looks, and trying to ignore the fact that there will be steeking and cutting.

Well, that’s about all I was up to in February. Here’s hoping March will be better, in every respect.

If you’re curious about what my fellow YOPpers are up to, or would like to join in the fun, find our group on Ravelry.

YOP 2019 #3

Hello my dears, and here we go, we have progress and new beginnings and even a finished book, can you believe it?

So, I made amazing progress on my Surf & Turf stole, and it’s beginning to look really interesting:

The pink does make all the difference. I’m on the 4th repeat of section B, or in other words, about two thirds in, and I’m definitely going to finish it and enjoy wearing it once the dreaded blocking is done. Something tells me this pattern is going to need some hardcore blocking but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, I’ll just knit, admire, and then knit some more.

I also made some progress on the Opal socks (first sock almost completed, 15 more rounds on the leg, and then 15 rounds cuff) but decided on another carry-on project. We went out for dinner with a group of bikers we met last year, and while a vanilla is a great carry-on because of its mindlessness, I always have to carry a notepad of some sort because I’m a little (okay, who am I trying to fool – awfully) obsessed with making both socks the exact same size, so I take notes of how many rounds I’ve already completed. Juggling a sock-to-be plus notepad at the dinner table is a bit too much even for my taste, so I decided to bring a very simple crochet granny project:

It’s the Chocolate Box pattern by Jan Eaton, and I’m using self-striping sock yarn with longer colour repeats. I love the way this one turned out, I’ve completed two more in the meantime, and am aiming to make at least one per day. Not really sure yet whether to collect the grannies until I’ve got enough for a blanket, or put a few together as soon as I’ve got a matching pile … I’m determined to take my time and just enjoy the process, maybe think things over while I’m crocheting, and just let the world be for the time it takes to complete one granny.

And since I had my crochet hook out anyway, I decided to give another pattern a try:

It’s my first attempt at the Medina Mosaic Tile pattern by Mark Roseboom aka the guy with the hook. I used a cotton yarn in whatever colours just to try and see how it turns out. I love the texture and shine of the cotton but I think an entire blanket might get too heavy. Also, I’d rather work with lighter colours next time, I think it gets too gloomy with the purple. Overall, it’s a well-written pattern with lots of photos to help you through, and I love how it turned out so far.

On to the book I finished:

I might have picked the weakest one in the series (it was one of those free promo offers) but I didn’t like it much. The characters were okay but the story was a bit boring, and it felt like the main character said and thought the same lines over and over and over. But at least there was knitting.

All in all, it was a good week, inspite of Steve passing on his cold to me. Oh, by the way, if you ever wanted to know the true difference between men and women, I think I’ve found it:

Steve: *coughs*
I: „Honey, shall I make you a nice hot cup of tea?“

I: *cough*
Steve: „Yeah – I passed on my cold – mission accomplished!“

He’s lucky he’s cute (and the ground is frozen). 😉

YOP 2019 #2

Hello my dears, she huffed and puffed as she hurried in late as usual. Yes, it’s been one of those weeks again *sigh*. And guess what – I still haven’t got a photo of my finished pair of vanillas. I do have a photo of the pair I’m currently working on:

It’s Opal sock yarn from my mom’s stash. She had one of Opal’s subscription packs for a while – you get six balls of sock yarn four times a year, if I remember correctly, and among them are experimental colourways that never make it into the shops. This one’s definitely one of the subscription packs but I really couldn’t say if this colourway was ever available for sale or not. Anyhow, I think it looks so much better knitted up than in the ball. Plus I really need some more pairs of socks, and who cares what colour they are when they are inside my boots? I could have finished the pair by now but I decided to keep them as my carry-on project.

Then there’s my Surf and Turf Stole. I’m almost through the first repeat of section B and was a bit torn. But see for yourselves:

I love the pattern but all of a sudden, I’m not so sure about the way the colours play out. It seems like a rather harsh colour change … Then again, I can picture the lovely little brook starting at its spring, happily meandering along, going underground for a while and coming back out a little worse, or rather, muddier for wear. I think I’ll just let that little brook float on for now until it gets to see its first sunrise (aka until I reach the pink that’s already visible in the ball), and decide then and there if I like it or not. As for the pattern, I had to tink two rows because I had misread the pattern – so if you think about knitting it yourselves, do read carefully. Tinking two rows is not that bad, though, but I’m definitely going to pay more attention in the future.

As for reading, well, I’m currently reading three books at a time, one is a cosy that I might well finish some time this week, and the other two are health-related. I collapsed again in December, just before the holidays, and spent a night in hospital. Check-ups showed no signs of anything out of the ordinary. There is absolutely not even the slightest hint for any disease or difficulty – and still, I keep collapsing and get migraines. My doctor tells me it’s stress-related, and that I should see a shrink, and there may well be some truth in it – and still, I feel I owe it to myself to find out if there is anything else I can do.

To end this on a positive note: I have a ton of new crafty ideas, and the neccessary materials for many of them. I’m not going to add all of them to my AYOP list just yet because I know some of my ideas will not make it beyond the „wouldn’t it be nice“ stage but at least I’m back to having all kinds of crafty ideas and plans, and am ready to get creative again. And that, my dears, is one of the greatest gifts I can imagine.

YOP 2019 #1

Hello my dears, how are you all doing? So this is the new year … funny how we make such a fuss about a mere change of numbers, isn’t it? Anyway, I’ve decided to start a new Year of Projects in January so that hopefully I won’t forget what week I’m actually in.

This week has seen the completion of a pair of vanillas – mind you, I actually finished two pairs in a mere week! I’m only counting the one pair for 2019, though, because I had knit about 90% of the other pair last year. I have yet to take a photo of my new pair of socks, the light was abyssmal due to heavy rain, overall greyness and snow.

I started my new lace shawl on the 1st, I blogged about it here, and have since started working on section B, the wave pattern. I’m not too far in, though.

Other than that, I was out taking photos:

And I managed to read two books:

Not exactly a productive week but I’m getting there.

If you’re curious about what my fellow YOPpers are up to, or would like to join in the fun, find our group on Ravelry.